I believe like the bible says “spiritual things are spiritually discerned” so when ever life lessons come my way I learn from them and hopefully from that experience painful or joyful as it may I tend to share it with others . So here goes, I have just had the most unusual week where I understood the text we “wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
I have always thought of myself as an organised person, when I set my mind to do something I can achieve it. I am always on a quest for self improvement. That comes from knowing who I am in Christ.
Any way Monday is my day to get the house spruced up but I figured since I have Miss J ‘s ,little girl Monday and Tuesday I thought I would do it all on Sunday and switch my appointments around. So comes Monday I get up and start preparing for her arrival. Then Miss J cancelled so I figured okay. No problem I’ll do my routine spruce up, then clean the car inside and out save myself £10. I figured 2 hours was sufficient time. Then I could reward myself with some computer time, read a book or cuddles on sofa with my girls. All whilst keeping an eye on my eldest daughter’s Self Tests( she is homeschooled.) I plugged the outdoor extension reel into another extension plug in the kitchen probably because it was closer than plugging into the socket directly, I don’t know why. I went outside tried to unravel the chord but it had a knot so in frustration I yanked it. I heard a loud crash coming from the direction of the kitchen and my husband yelling. I knew I did something wrong. I ran into the kitchen to find my beloved microwave, on the floor dented and banged up. Later on I dropped the steriliser and all the bottles fell tumbling to the floor. Things got worse that week . My phone line was down the week before due to vandalism so we used our mobile phone instead. The bill came to an astronomical price and from there my week just spiralled downwards but I won’t bore you with the details.
When things get this bad I try to focus, think of a text from the bible “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 came to my mind. Almost instantly that panicky feeling starts to subside. You know the sweating, the mental confusion the million and one thoughts whirring through your head threatening to collide with each other. The feeling ,wretched and powerless, the increased heart rate.
Slow Down Stop! Take a few deep breaths get a piece of paper out and pen and start writing. I have a theory living in the west does this to you, and the media conditioning. It is difficult to recognise this feeling of being overwhelmed because we live constantly on adrenaline sailing from one disaster to the next conquering it and moving on. All these sitcoms we watch All of Us, My wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris, Friends (just insert your favourite programme here___________)all portray characters with a problem at the start of the programme but by the end of 20 to 30mins the characters emerge triumphant at the end and the show is wrapped with a big shiny red satin bow at the end without a mention of God. Characters solve the problems with their own intellect and might, by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps so to speak. I think it leaves the viewer feeling empowered but when reality doesn’t meet their expectations they have one of any number of reactions, anger, frustration to name but a few. Resulting in date rapes, marital breakdown, domestic violence and road rage. Get the picture.
You know what though, for me as a Christian I have had to unlearn these responses and think of the text “In your weakness I am strong” Hebrews 11:34 and I just think of my daughter s favourite text Phillipians 4:13″ I can do ALL (how many?) all things through Christ who strengthenth me. “
For me the realisation that I am weak ,my total absolute dependence on HIM Christ Jesus, means I can do nothing without him . From that I take immense joy in knowing that and I have a peace that passeth all understanding. Philipian 4:7
I don’t have to think about what’s right or wrong I’ve developed a distrust in myself . I do what He tells me to do and I have a complete trust it will work out. “All things work together for good for those that love the Lord “ Romans 8:28 and love Him I do.
My challenge to you today is to practice slowing down a little, perhaps put some soothing gospel music on examine what is happening to you. Ask yourself questions.
Am I angry?
Am I tired?
Have I eaten today?
Have I drank my water?(must have 8 glasses a day)
Have I had my daily devotion and prayer time with God? (must do early hours 5-7am)
What are my priorities?
Write them down set timer for 5-20mins and work on ticking off the things on the list .
I take my list of priorities and start at the top and spend 15 minutes on that one. It doesn’t matter that it is not finished then I set my timer again and go to the next item on the list. I do this three times then I sit for 15 minutes and collect my thoughts and rest at the same time. After timer goes off; I start again! I use this sometimes on my older daughter. I tell her okay you’ve got 15 minutes to get over this meltdown then when the timer goes off you start again.
You know what the exciting thing is I just know that whatever is up ahead this was a training time that is preparing me for something. Even if it “Is Jacob’s Time of Trouble.” My prayer for you today is that you will ask God to teach you how to wrestle like Jacob did.
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